Hearing loss prevalent among veterans

Air Force Villages host hearing loss seminars

SAN ANTONIO - For many people, hearing loss is just something that comes with the aging process, but it strikes veterans in even grater numbers.

"Hearing loss is very prevalent among veterans because of the work we do," said retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Kathie Estrada.

Estrada is now the executive director of Air Force Villages I retirement community.

"We do wear hearing protection, but even with that, there are often times that the noise is just so prevalent," she said.

That hearing loss comes much to the detriment of the quality of life of veterans.

"Well, it used to be that I was somewhat reluctant to take part in social activities because in a noisy situation, I just couldn't follow the conversation," said retired U.S. Army Reservist Bill Blanchard.

So more and more, veterans groups are getting out the word that they don't have to accept hearing loss.

A hearing loss seminar was held at Air Force Village I on Wednesday to bring awareness to residents there that technology superior to traditional hearing aids exists.

Veterans who have had cochlear implants were on hand to speak to their fellow veterans about how the devices have improved their lives.

"Its helped my quality of life so much and that's why I'm here because I want to tell people what its meant to me," said retired U.S. Army Reservist Terry Brown. "I can go to events like this and hear all of the sounds where it used to -- it was like 1,000 sounds coming at me."

The implants have allowed veterans to enjoy their golden years without suffering the hearing loss brought on by their years of service.

For a list of recent stories John Honore has done, click here.


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